Does chemistry outweigh compatibility—or vice versa? Real women share which was more important to them

By Jenna Birch
February 01, 2015
Advertisement
Corbis Images

If you've ever gotten an "emergency drinks after work?!?!" text from your BFF, or sat around any brunch table on any Saturday afternoon, you've probably talked about this very topic: should you go after that guy with whom you feel amazing chemistry, or should you choose the stable, loyal, forever-there-for-you boyfriend? One's the exciting wild card, the other's The Perfect (On Paper) Man. But which guy is best for you?

In life, we have to decide what's most important to us, whether we're deciding on a career path, a circle of friends, an upcoming vacation... or a fulfilling, long-term partner. Here, we asked two women who had to decide between fireworks and the slow build: did you choose sparks or security, and why? (Then, check out these 5 Relationship Tips from Divorce Experts.)

I Chose Sparks

Sasha*, content marketer, Austin, TX

"I boarded a plane to Chicago and, as fate would have it, sat down next to a guy we'll call Sparks. We talked through the entire five-hour flight, and clearly shared the same lust for life. I was hooked. When we landed, I played it cool. We parted ways with a hug and exchange of contact information, but as soon as I got in the taxi, I texted my closest friends to tell them I had met The One.

Only problem was, I had a boyfriend (let's call him Security) of two and a half years, with whom I was in a stable relationship back home.

After some confusion on my friends' part, they eventually encouraged me to text him. (After all, how often do you find a connection like this?) I held back. I even drafted an email to him that, to this day, sits in my drafts folder-but he reached out to me first. After a day or two of texting, I couldn't stop myself. I asked Sparks if he had felt what I felt.

His answer was yes. And we were both convinced that the connection between us was tangible-not to mention tantalizing. We flirted via text, and set up another meeting ASAP, even though Sparks was also dating someone before he has boarded that crazy flight with me.

Yet when I got home, I just knew. Security picked me up from the airport, and I truly felt I could not lead him on after experiencing such intense chemistry with Sparks-something I'd never felt with my boyfriend.

Whereas Sparks and I had instantly connected, since we were into all the same things-health, fitness, adventures, and silly sense of humor about life-Security and I just seemed worlds away, as stable as our relationship was. We didn't share that passion for exploration that I had, and he wasn't open to trying new things. After some time together, I had thought I could deal with our differences-until I met Sparks, and all that went out the window.

I broke up with Security the day after my first real meeting with Sparks.

During our date, the connection between us was even more electric, so much so that I met his family soon after-from parents to step-siblings and beyond. He planned his life with me then and there.

Things went fast. But like they so often do, Sparks and I eventually slowed down and fizzled out after four intense months together. He lived in Hawaii, I lived in Texas. And although we FaceTimed daily, with each passing week, the sparks weren't enough. I felt him pull away. He eventually asked to simply be friends.

Although things ended abruptly and with a lot of pain, I don't regret choosing Sparks over my stable boyfriend. Being with Sparks was better than thinking, ‘What if?' I didn't want to forever wonder what I was missing out on after experiencing something as electric as that initial connection I had with Sparks.

Although the repercussions of taking a risk like that hurts, it led me to far better realizations of what I want in the person I ultimately want to spend the rest of my life with. Although Sparks and I didn't work out, I've now met someone who I know I will be with for the rest of my life-and I know that he's really The One because of what I learned from my experience with Sparks. We felt right, like I had finally met someone who loved me and shared the same voracity for life that I have.

I've been with my new boyfriend for over a year now, and although I did feel sparks early, they were more gradual and felt far less intense-in a good way. My feelings for him developed slowly, but strong. I saw Sparks' kindness in my new boyfriend, but without the subconscious selfishness that had wore me down. Over time, I saw Sparks could be childish, and ambitious as he was, it was not the right, healthy kind of drive. My now-boyfriend is mature enough to understand the ins and outs of life, taking it by the horns, but in a fun and responsible way.

I think feeling stable and secure, with some sparks thrown in, is your best bet. A relationship needs to have voracity and energy to keep you going and push you to try new things, but it still has to be stable enough for you to take risks, reap rewards and have a soft place to fall in the end." (Here are more 6 Things You Should Always Ask for in a Relationship.)

I Chose Security

Jillian*, blogger, Detroit, MI

"I met Sparks on a breezy May evening at a restaurant in the city. I was immediately struck by his bold approach, his blue eyes, and his razor-sharp wit-for which I am a sucker. On top of that, he was a tall, hotshot real-estate broker breaking new ground in his field. We hit it off immediately, and I was hooked. The connection was scintillating; I finally felt something truly electric after years of feeling next to nothing.

However, it took just one date to realize that Sparks and I weren't on the same page. We were in different stages of our relationship lives. Semi-fresh off a long-term breakup, he wasn't looking for anything serious. I, on the other hand, knew I was looking for nothing less. Since I'm not a see-me-whenever, casual kind of girl, I indicated dating me would require more of a commitment. After throwing down the gauntlet, he blew me off and walked away. Despite the connection, I had to live with that.

Not long after, I met Security. He was different from Sparks in so many ways, but still charming, interesting and an undoubtedly brilliant businessman. I didn't see fireworks, but I saw so many positive qualities. Security also progressed our relationship in a straightforward, no-need-for-second-guessing sort of way. I knew where we stood, always, and I knew we were looking for the same thing. Soon, he asked me to be in a relationship, and not long after, meet his family-which is precisely when Sparks re-emerged with one ill-timed text to throw me off course. What was I going to do?

Sparks peppered me with texts over the next week or so. While I desperately wanted him to ask me out so we could explore our connection once and for all, I weighed my decision about Security-knowing I was nearing a breaking point. Finally, we all collided on one hot night in late June. While I was out hanging out my BFF and Security, I encountered Sparks out with another new girl. A different girl. We saw each other, said nothing, and carried on, but in that moment, there was no more waiting. Knowing Sparks was still playing the field and holding me off, I realized I had to choose right then and there. It wasn't fair any other way.

Agonizingly and painstakingly at first, I made it official with Security. When Sparks texted a little over a week later and asked to get a drink, I had to say no.

Security was the sure thing at that moment, but I chose him for real reasons beyond that. He was supportive and strong, he asked me what I needed from a relationship from the get-go, and he had done everything right since. (Read more of the The Top 5 Questions to Ask in a New Relationship.) I knew he'd be a faithful boyfriend. I would have never known this with Sparks-who I regularly saw out and about in the city with a string of similar-looking blondes.

My ending is a happy one... although it didn't work out with Security, as work ate up more of his time and energy than our relationship could handle. However, he was a great, faithful, thoughtful boyfriend while we were together, and I do not regret choosing him at all. In fact sparks definitely grew, and eventually flew, in our secure relationship. The difference? They were the kind you get with a partner-in-crime that you truly trust and enjoy being around-not the result of anxiety over what your partner is doing at any given moment.

If faced with a similar decision again, I'd like to think I'd choose the stable guy over the guy with whom I see fireworks. There's a reason you get sparks with these kinds of guys; they're the result of friction. It can be hot, yes, but usually not-so-great for a long-term relationship."

The Key Is Finding a Balance

Evan Marc Katz, dating coach and author of Believe in Love

"You can't help what you're attracted to. You like certain men because they're smart and they're hot, or whatever it is that turns you on.

But you can acknowledge that those men you're attracted to aren't always good long-term relationship partners. You can acknowledge that attraction can be blinding and allow you to overlook a man's flaws for way too long. You can acknowledge that attraction isn't either a ‘10' or a ‘1'-that it's usually something in between. And you can acknowledge that an addiction to smart, hot, aloof, and inaccessible men isn't really working.

If 95 percent of your life is spent on matters that are neither ‘brainy' nor ‘sexy,' wouldn't it make sense to find a partner who is compatible in all the other areas? Rather than finding the smartest, hottest guy imaginable who doesn't want to throw dinner parties, doesn't want to see your mother, doesn't want to let you choose the furniture you want, and doesn't want to raise a family together? I think so. Naturally, you have to find your partner attractive and intelligent, but he doesn't have to be the most attractive or the most intelligent for you to have a very happy life together.

I've long advocated for putting compatibility on the same level as chemistry, instead of making chemistry the most important factor in your decision-making. Because, as you know, you can get the smartest, hottest, tallest, richest guy in the world…and you'll most likely discover that he's a selfish narcissist who's just not that into you. Thus, there is wisdom in compromising a little on looks and brains in order to find the happiness that has eluded you when you exalt "attraction" above all.

Here are the numbers I find work best: 7 chemistry, 10 compatibility. That's the sweet spot. Most choose 10 chemistry and 3 compatibility or 4 chemistry 10 compatibility and wonder why it doesn't work.

There's a leap of faith that you have to make in any relationship. You make this leap of faith based on trust and character, not based on attraction or wealth. You make this leap of faith when you've found your best friend, someone who makes you laugh, who has your back, who values the same things in life, and, yes, who is on the same page sexually. But most importantly, you make this leap of faith when you find the person who allows you to be yourself, to let down your guard, to feel safe. (Here are more 6 Not-So-Obvious Signs He's a Keeper.)

Keep chasing partners who don't make you feel safe, and you'll always find yourself getting hurt. Please don't think your partner has to leave you breathless. The ones who leave you breathless-as you already know-tend to be the ones who leave. Just consider the relative importance of a chiseled jawline and a Masters degree versus the ability to love you unconditionally and the desire to make you happy. I think it's clear what should win out."

*Names have been changed for privacy

Comments (21)

Anonymous
October 26, 2020
I completely trusted Dr Paul totally from the time I spoke with him during the period my husband Left me  after11 years of our marriage, He started the spell work on my husband, and gave me so much assurance and guaranteed me that he was going to bring my husband back to my feet in just 48 hours of the spell casting. I was so confident in his work and just as he said in the beginning, my husband is finally back to me again, yes he is back with all his hearts, Love, care, emotions and flowers and things are better now. I would have no hesitation to recommend this powerful spell caster to anybody who is in need of help.. E-mail; astoriashrine @ gmail com
Anonymous
October 26, 2020
I completely trusted Dr Paul totally from the time I spoke with him during the period my husband Left me  after11 years of our marriage, He started the spell work on my husband, and gave me so much assurance and guaranteed me that he was going to bring my husband back to my feet in just 48 hours of the spell casting. I was so confident in his work and just as he said in the beginning, my husband is finally back to me again, yes he is back with all his hearts, Love, care, emotions and flowers and things are better now. I would have no hesitation to recommend this powerful spell caster to anybody who is in need of help.. E-mail; astoriashrine @ gmail com
Anonymous
October 16, 2020
this spell caster Priest manuka has helped me a lot. if you need help then go to [lovesolutiontemple1@gmail.com] he can help out. I broke up with my boyfriend and tried many ways to resolve the issue for 6 months before meeting priest manuka and he was able to get him back to me even though he already had another girlfriend, priest manuka spells broke them up and got him back for me, I highly recommend him and his service. thank you so much Priest i appreciate you and you are truly blessed.
Anonymous
September 22, 2020
I want to thank of great Dr. Todd he brought my boyfriend back to me. i had seen many people to get him back but nothing, Dr. Todd gave me a consultation and told me all truth, and I trusted Dr. Todd and had him do the spells for me. it took awhile because it was very very messy between us. i had to wait for each spell to do its work. but once the last spell finally was working and the other spells had worked, that is when he called. we met. then it took many more meetings. but now we are back together and i can only thank Dr.Todd, he is the greatest, i will come to Dr. Todd for life. Todd took care of me like family. contact; manifest spell cast @ gmail. com Whats App:+1 604 901 9747
Anonymous
July 19, 2020
When I found Dr. Paul I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. He left me for another woman. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years with no explanation. I contact Dr.Paul through his website and He told me me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me to, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did his spell, my boyfriend started texting me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. We moved in together and he was more open to me than before and then he started spending more time with me than before. Ever since Dr. Paul helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. I highly recommends Dr. Paul to anyone in need of help. Email: astoriashrine@ gmail com, Call him or add him on whatsapp via: +2349051441669
Anonymous
July 19, 2020
When I found Dr. Paul I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. He left me for another woman. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years with no explanation. I contact Dr.Paul through his website and He told me me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me to, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did his spell, my boyfriend started texting me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. We moved in together and he was more open to me than before and then he started spending more time with me than before. Ever since Dr. Paul helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. I highly recommends Dr. Paul to anyone in need of help. Email: astoriashrine@ gmail com, Call him or add him on whatsapp via: +2349051441669
Anonymous
June 27, 2020
A miracle that happen in my life that God use priest Manuka restore happiness in my marriage. It all happen when I travel to see my mom few months ago when my husband met a Mexico lady who took his attention away from his family and made him seek for a divorce, in just few months I was away, I was driven from our home because of her my husband was lavishing our savings on her that pains was really too much for to bear seeing my man in the arms of another woman, I decided to take decision to save my family from the bondage of this wicked lady. Today am here to tell everyone here that my marriage has been finally restored by priest Manuka  who did all he could do to bring back peace to my life again. My advice to anyone who read this testimony never to give up in any situation just ask God for direction and have faith he will lead you just the way I was lead to priest Manuka who help me out of my problem. Once again thank you for you help I will also recommend him to anyone else who needs him for any situation. Here is his contact.....  Lovesolutiontemple1@gmail.com
Anonymous
June 10, 2020
My husband left me and said he no longer loves me after spending 9years with me, We have a beautiful daughter of 6 Year. I was not able to understand just how someone can fall out of love after 13years the fact that he feels the way that he does. He no longer wants to do anything with me talk to me or see me I feel that our marriage can be saved but it was miserable when my partner doesn't want anything to do with me. few weeks ago a friend directed me to Dr DODO and i contacted him through email, after 24 hours my husband came to me and he admitted that everything he had been doing to me was wrong and he truly apologized. thanks to Dr DODO he did perfect work to safe my marriage Dr DODO email is being attached to my post to contact him. Drdodotemple@gmail.com call or Whatsapp on +1 (706) 871-4571
Anonymous
June 10, 2020
My husband left me and said he no longer loves me after spending 9years with me, We have a beautiful daughter of 6 Year. I was not able to understand just how someone can fall out of love after 13years the fact that he feels the way that he does. He no longer wants to do anything with me talk to me or see me I feel that our marriage can be saved but it was miserable when my partner doesn't want anything to do with me. few weeks ago a friend directed me to Dr DODO and i contacted him through email, after 24 hours my husband came to me and he admitted that everything he had been doing to me was wrong and he truly apologized. thanks to Dr DODO he did perfect work to safe my marriage Dr DODO email is being attached to my post to contact him. Drdodotemple@gmail.com call or Whatsapp on +1 (706) 871-4571
Anonymous
March 14, 2020
Am from the United States, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or the kids.it was the spell that was castes on him that was working on him. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact dr.John on any problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his number whatsapp +2348147766277 , or email him on drjohnsoco@gmail.com
Anonymous
November 10, 2019
I want to give an unlimited thanks to this Great man Called Dr. Uzoya, I am happy today because my husband is now back with full of love, My husband left me for another woman,just because we had a little misunderstanding. he left me and promise he will never come back to me again. i cry all day looking for a solution to help me bring him back. Then i saw a testimony share on the Internet by Sophia Willie. i email him and tell him my problems with my husband, and he promise to bring him back home within 2 days. indeed he is wonderful he help me to get my husband back within 2 days which he promise and my husband return to me and promise to love me forever and beg me for the pain he caused me. I will forever be grateful to you Dr and i will not stop to publish your name on the Internet for people to see how truthful you are. And I want to say to everyone on this site that I will always remain thankful to this man Dr. Uzoya for all he has done for me,My husband is back with love,caring,truthful and he promise to love me forever.I have made a promise that every body I know will never have a relationship problem, via his email; driraborspellcaster@gmail.com Or call him +1(301) 909-8775
Anonymous
October 18, 2019
In today's relationships,Infidelity is over rated while loyalty is ignored or depreciated.infidelity has been a common virus in today's marriage,i have been a victim of both emotional and physical cheat,but the truth was able to come to light after i seek for counseling and service of a professional hacker.I never knew that the man i trusted so much with my love and care has been cheating on me,all thanks to 'hackingloop' for their investigative and hacking service that helped me gain access to all my husband's phone activities remotely,it hurts to know that the one you trusted could be cheating on you, though i loved him but i really had to let go.though it requires much gut but if you are having a trust issue in your relationship,just contact''hackingloop6@ g mail . c o m'' OR text him on+1(712)292-2655,he is a professional hacker..There should be No reason to cheat,be it emotional or what-so-ever.
Anonymous
August 19, 2019
When I Found Dr. Todd I Was In Desperate Need Of Bringing My Ex Lover Back. He Left Me For Another Woman. It Happened So Fast And I Had No Say In The Situation At All. He Just Dumped Me After 3 Years With No Explanation. I Contact Dr.Todd Through His Website And He Told Me Me What I Need To Do Before He Can Help Me And I Did What He Told Me To, After I Provided What He Wanted, He Cast A Love Spell To Help Us Get Back Together. Shortly After He Did His Spell, My Boyfriend Started Texting Me Again And Felt Horrible For What He Just Put Me Through. He Said That I Was The Most Important Person In His Life And He Knows That Now. We Moved In Together And He Was More Open To Me Than Before And Then He Started Spending More Time With Me Than Before. Ever Since Dr. Todd Helped Me, My Partner Is Very Stable, Faithful And Closer To Me Than Before. I Highly Recommends Dr.Todd To Anyone In Need Of Help. Email: manifestspellcast@gmail.com
Anonymous
August 19, 2019
When I Found Dr. Todd I Was In Desperate Need Of Bringing My Ex Lover Back. He Left Me For Another Woman. It Happened So Fast And I Had No Say In The Situation At All. He Just Dumped Me After 3 Years With No Explanation. I Contact Dr.Todd Through His Website And He Told Me Me What I Need To Do Before He Can Help Me And I Did What He Told Me To, After I Provided What He Wanted, He Cast A Love Spell To Help Us Get Back Together. Shortly After He Did His Spell, My Boyfriend Started Texting Me Again And Felt Horrible For What He Just Put Me Through. He Said That I Was The Most Important Person In His Life And He Knows That Now. We Moved In Together And He Was More Open To Me Than Before And Then He Started Spending More Time With Me Than Before. Ever Since Dr. Todd Helped Me, My Partner Is Very Stable, Faithful And Closer To Me Than Before. I Highly Recommends Dr.Todd To Anyone In Need Of Help. Email: manifestspellcast@gmail.com
Anonymous
August 19, 2019
When I Found Dr. Todd I Was In Desperate Need Of Bringing My Ex Lover Back. He Left Me For Another Woman. It Happened So Fast And I Had No Say In The Situation At All. He Just Dumped Me After 3 Years With No Explanation. I Contact Dr.Todd Through His Website And He Told Me Me What I Need To Do Before He Can Help Me And I Did What He Told Me To, After I Provided What He Wanted, He Cast A Love Spell To Help Us Get Back Together. Shortly After He Did His Spell, My Boyfriend Started Texting Me Again And Felt Horrible For What He Just Put Me Through. He Said That I Was The Most Important Person In His Life And He Knows That Now. We Moved In Together And He Was More Open To Me Than Before And Then He Started Spending More Time With Me Than Before. Ever Since Dr. Todd Helped Me, My Partner Is Very Stable, Faithful And Closer To Me Than Before. I Highly Recommends Dr.Todd To Anyone In Need Of Help. Email: manifestspellcast@gmail.com
Anonymous
March 29, 2019
This may not sound fair, because it’s not-But did you know that you can be a guy’s dream girl...I mean, you can literally check off every box on his “perfect woman” list...But if you mess up this one thing, he’ll drop you the second another option comes along? And most women have no clue it exists because guys aren’t even aware of it. They just KNOW when it’s missing.The really cool thing is, when you know how to give a man this “secret ingredient”...It will send a shockwave of desire for you straight to his brain and he will HAVE to have you. In fact, when you do this... watch his face light up, almost as if he’s just been zapped.Find out here ==> https://bit.ly/makeamandesireyou
Anonymous
November 2, 2018
My first love was totaly faithful to me before my parents forced me into marring a man of their choice,he cheated on me a LOT. And constantly accused me of cheating on him even though I was totally faithful. He was a monster..for a lot worse reasons than that, but shortly after i consulted a cyber genius(hackingloop6 @ g m a i l. c o m)he helped me hack my husband's phone and exposed all his secrete cheating activities.it helped me win custody of my two kids during divorce. i recommend you to(hackingloop6 @ g m a i l . c o m)or text +1(712)2922655,if you have a similar issue.i wish i could turn the hands of time and live with my first love. cheating is cruel and it feels horrible.
Anonymous
October 13, 2018
This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me..My name is Davis ville and I base in USA. My life is back! After 2 years of marriage, my wife left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Larry who I met online. As I was browsing through the Internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. There was one particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman, she testified about how Dr Larry brought back her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of her testimony she gave Dr Larry email address. After reading all these, I decided to give Dr larry a try. I contacted him with his via email address and explained my problem to him. In just 2 days, my husband came back to me and now we are even happier than before. Dr Larry is really a talented and gifted man and I will not to stop publishing him because he is a wonderful Dr...If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that problem for you. Try Dr Larry today, he might be the answer to your problem. Here's his contact: +1(424)-261-8520 assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com
Anonymous
September 4, 2018
My purpose out here today is to share this article to the world about how Dr. Zakuza from India. Dr. Zakuza helped me in getting back my EX-girlfriend that broke up with me 4 months ago. My name is Jackson Pinckney from Cape Town South Africa. I tried all i could to make her see reasons with me that we can continue our relationship but she neglected and turn down my decision. Thank God for giving me the thought of going into the internet for help, i searched properly and i saw different reviews of Dr. Zakuza and i insisted in giving it a try by contacting him via what's app on +1 (845) 400–7115. He gave me reason to live again and he prepared a spell and told me that my Ex-girlfriend will come back to me within 12 to 16 hours. Can you believe it, my EX-girlfriend came back to me and our wedding will hold before the end of this year. Contact him now!!! if you need any help. Email: doctorzakuzaspelltemple@yahoo.com
Anonymous
August 11, 2018
Ever since my husband got me divorced for the past 2 years, i v'e not been my self. I was reviewing some post of how i could get back my husband then, i saw a testimony shared by Sabrina Ibriami from Belgium about a spell caster named Dr Isikolo. I contacted Marina Chaos to confirm about how Dr Isikolo helped her and she clarified everything to me of how he helped her and that gave me the courage to get in touch with Dr Isikolo for help. Dr Isikolo assured me that my days of sorrows will be over within 12 to 16 hours after he has finished with his work. I followed his instructions he gave to me because i had the believe, faith, hope and trust in him. Verily i say to you today that i and my husband are back together and i can proudly say and testify to the world of what Dr Isikolo did for me. Contact him today via E-mail: Email: isikolosolutionhome@gmail.com. call or Whatsapp him on +2348133261196 or Viber +2347082727576
Anonymous
April 1, 2018
I think relationships require that spark, as mentioned in the article as well, as these keep the thing going. Love and sex both play a very important role in sustaining the relationship between a man and woman. It is possible to look for relationships on websites like meetfems.com if you believe that time has come to share your life in a serious way with someone new.